With plenty of brand new models flooding headphone market, Sennheiser has many options to choose from. For bass enthusiasts desiring portability, though, three models in particular rise to the occasion. But among those three models – the HD 2.10, the HD 2.20, and the HD 2.30 – which one should you choose?
Sennheiser HD 2.10 vs HD 2.20 vs HD 2.30 Comparison Review
All three HD 2 models feature an on-ear design with pad-like cushions. The headbands are slim and flexible without feeling cheap or flimsy. Comfort is decent, too, and while the on-ear design can be fatiguing for listeners with larger ears, the soft pleather padding on the earcups does much to prevent such unpleasantness.
All three models feature a 4.6 ft (1.4 m) fixed cable. While the HD 2.10 features no remote, the HD 2.20 features a single-button remote and in-line mic optimized for various smartphones and tablets. The HD 2.30 offers a three-button remote and in-line mic for iOS or Samsung Galaxy devices (designated as the 2.30i or 2.30G, respectively).
Speaker Pressure Level (SPL)
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)
As we can see from these specifications, the HD 2.10 and 2.20 appear remarkably similar, while the biggest difference exists between those models and the HD 2.30. The higher-end 2.30 offers slightly more high-end detail, a lower nominal impedance (for better efficiency), and louder volume.
All of these headphones offer some detail with the low end, but the HD 2.20 and the HD 2.30 offer a bit more. Detail on the HD 2.10 can be a bit fuzzy at times, but this lack of articulation is more than made up for by booming bass. The HD 2.20, by comparison, seem to dial back the bass just a little bit more, leading to what seems like a high quality sound, even if it is a bit more subdued. The HD 2.30 features more bass than the 2.20, but still sounds as clean in terms of bleed.
The midrange throughout this series is surprisingly decent. The HD 2.10 has a little bit more distortion than the other two models, occasionally appearing in the low and high mids. The HD 2.20 is a bit cleaner, with imperfections only in the upper mids, and most present in male vocals. Finally, the HD 2.30 is the cleanest of them all, but still suffers from the slightest bit of distortion.
Highs on all three models are fairly laid back and subdued, as evidenced by the frequency range in the Specs Section of this review. The HD 2.10 features the least amount of detail, while the HD 2.30 features a bit more. But I was most impressed by the high end detail in the HD 2.20, despite it being cheaper than the HD 2.30. None of these headphones sound necessarily bright – not even the 2.30, despite its higher frequency range.
All of these headphones deliver a relatively unimpressive sense of soundstage. While the HD 2.20 and 2.30 feature some depth, the depth on the HD 2.10 is almost nonexistent. Placement on all three models is lacking. While the headphones still sound decent in general, those seeking a more realistic sound will be hampered by the on-ear design and lack of higher-end fidelity.
The HD 2.10 is an inexpensive point of entry to this series, and even though the sound seems a bit lacking in comparison to the other models, the quality is still worthy of props in comparison to other models from other manufacturers. The HD 2.20 provides a step up in almost every category, but especially in terms of the high end, which sounds as detailed, but smoother. Finally, the more-expensive HD 2.30 provides the most impressive low end and midrange of all three models. The bass, too, while not as intense as the 2.10, is still cleaner.
For those seeking intense, thumping bass (and not much else), I’d recommend the HD 2.10. For anyone seeking a bit more in terms of clarity, but still maintaining that bass, I’d tell them to consider the HD 2.30, even if it is more expensive. The HD 2.20 seems more of a do-anything type of headphone – and this is the one I would probably recommend the most. It’s not quite as expensive as the 2.30, but still sounds as good (or at times, even better). Of course, this model lacks the bass found on the HD 2.10, but more than makes up for that in terms of accuracy.
The HD 2.10, 2.20, and 2.30 offer portability and performance at a lower price than other competitors. While the HD 2.10 and 2.30 seem to concentrate more on a bassy sound with a recessed high end, the HD 2.20 steals the show as the headphone you can take anywhere no matter what kind of music you’re into.